I was “introduced” to my two passions in life, pottery and cave exploration, at an early age in 1961 during a trip to California. Two years later, I threw my first pot in a 9th grade arts and crafts class and loved it from the first moment. I “returned” to pottery as a senior at Denver University in 1971, fell into the clay vortex and never came back out again. On informing my father on the eve of my graduation from DU that I had decided to be a potter for the rest of my life, one could plainly see the color drain from his face. Forty four years later, I am still at it and love it just as much as I did then.
I work in stoneware and porcelain clays and fire to cone 10 in a 100 cubic foot gas-fired kiln. I market my work primarily through fine art and craft shows around the country. Although I live in Camden, Maine, I have strong connections to New Mexico and consider it my home as much as is Maine.
My first trip to New Mexico came in 1969 when my passion for cave exploration took me to the Guadalupe Mountains, home to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I’ve been caving and photographing throughout that mountain range ever since then. Eventually, I brought my new found love for making pots to New Mexico and began teaching workshops, particularly at The Pottery Studio in the city of Carlsbad. In 2012, I did a fundraising project at Carlsbad Caverns National Park which combined my two passions of pottery and caving. I set up a borrowed potters wheel in the Visitors Center for four days, brought fifty pre-made “Carlsbad Cavern Donation Mugs” (minimum donation of $25 directly to the Park) with me, along with my own work. Ultimately raised $2500 for the Park. I will be doing a similar event in 2016 over the Fourth of July weekend and will elaborate on that in The Slip Trail as the time approaches.
As much as Maine and New Mexico are extreme opposites from one another, I love both places equally. My work has a strong Southwestern influence to it that comes from my time spent in New Mexico since 1969. While I don’t expect people to come to my studio on their tour of New Mexico potters (it’s just a bit out of the way….), my studio and work is open to all who care to see it. The 2016 July Fourth Weekend fundraiser at Carlsbad Caverns National Park will be a big event and I encourage interested people to attend and help support New Mexico’s only National Park as it will be the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Look for more info on The Slip Trail at a later time.
Mountain Street Pottery
NMPCA Member since: September, 2015
Studio Tour Page: http://claystudiotour.com/peter-jones/